Are hardwired to care for only our own tribe?
Compassion fatique may overcome us when we regularly see images of suffering people we don't know personally, but when it comes to 'kith and kin' we seem to have endless reserves.
We feel empathy much more stronger when the people involved are just like us. Humans are social animals and empthy and sympathy are honed for survival. It is all about preservation: of the self, the genes adn the social group in which we and our genes are embedded.
I think we are hardwired to care for the survival of the human tribe. That also has to include taking care of the plants/animals/planet because all things together will make a better chance at survival.
We care about what happens to people all over the world--even though we feel most deeply about those we know personally--beause we know we all have to work together.
True compassion has no preference...it knows that suffering has nothing to do with outward appearance...even the rich and the beautiful..they are not immune. The first Noble truth, the truth of suffering applies to all that were born...
The attachment to the kin can be transcended when we realize that we were born to our families because at some point in time we do not necessarily remember, it would be for our best interest....but that too has to be transcended
Hi. This is an interesting question to which I don't have enough knowlege to answer completely.
Speaking personally, I don't seem particularly "hard wired" to care for Brits (my tribe). In fact, I don't particularly like or admire them. I would help a Mexican and probably an animal before I would a Brit.
That sounds anglophobic and is, but this country and its vengeful, cold people have done me a lot of emotional harm.
I have a few friends here who I would help if needed, but not the general public at large.
And I miss my dog more than my last wife!
Bob...sorry I can't be of more help.
I think in general ... if you've had a good personal experience with a certain kind of tribe you will have a greater reserve of compassion for them. it doesn't have to be your own tribe. normally you are brought up in your own tribe and all your good times / thinking style are linked to that tribe therefore compassion for the tribe is strong. it's all about the personal experience which determines the strength.
If i was asked to pick a side ... it would not be my tribe because the negative's out-weigh the positive's in my personal experience as compared to other tribal areas i've lived in.
I have seen wild animals on PBS take better care of their kind than some humans I know. Caring and compassion reflects the condition of your soul. Of course, you are going to take care of your own kind, but to reach a level of consciousness beyond yourself to the cause of humankind, is the greatest form of: Love Thy Neighbor.
I just wrote a hub on this yesterday that indicates that we are essentially self and close-tribe oriented...and I don't get paid to Hub, so it's ok, I think, if I advertise my writing..."Where You From?" is the title. Another good question, Beata!
Yes is the simple answer.
If folk travelled more they would broaden their outlook, but folk don't travel much except to holiday destinations where they view the natives and get a few days relaxation for their money.
Most of them miss the fact that the person serving them gets paid less per month than they spend in one day for their holiday.
They miss the fact that their Nike shoes cost them a fortune, but the child who made them gets $1 per day.
If they spent time in country, seeing the truth, they may get less tribal.
They may consider others.
If the old adage "Blood is thicker than water" is true, I think for most, family comes first. Family genetics provide connectivity that brings protectiveness with better insurance for survival. The popularity of the television production of "Who Do You Think You Are", where well known celebrities trace their family tree, illustrates the emotive desire to discover our roots.
Viral videos show that the human connection among strangers is alive and well, too. Today, we connect with and support victims across the globe. This week the story of the 17-year old, unarmed, young man, who was allegedly racially profiled, followed by a neighborhood watch participant despite police warnings to stop pursuit, ended the victims life as he was gunned down by the vigilante. This unnecessary tragedy has stirred the nation's sense of injustice and grief. A recent national news relayed the story of an American soldier, deployed for his fourth tour of duty, who killed innocent civilians, mostly children,while serving in Afganistan. Though he is "one of our own", it is impossible to ignore the inhumane cruelty of the actions of this serviceman, who now faces the possibility of the death penalty. Genetically connected or not, normal human nature abhors hurting innocents.
I believe we are genetically programmed for survival. Nature creates the connectivity to protect those we love. However, I believe the thread that connects us human to human is made of steel, particularly in families that teach the preciousness of all life. Bigotry, unfortunately, lives on through those that teach hatred. It is our own worst enemy and proves that terrorists come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
As our country and world continues to see more turmoil and stife, we may have to face this question of tribal unity. I believe that we are stronger together and can survive better if we work together to meet needs.
It has more to do with social bonding than DNA coding. We care for family and friends first then those most like us second. The second group may include; culture, race, religion, and country.
we are not hard wired for anything except survival. Sympathy and empathy are learned concepts, and unfortunately in today's society we are taught that self serving is first and foremost. The greed factor has trumped common decency. Those who care about anyone but themselves, or anything that is not self serving, are few and far between.
The 60's & 70's were geared to break up the American family and did a very good job. TPTB knew that tight moral structures would keep them from creating a diverse social structure bent on what society labels as sin.
Now violence, pornography, greed, sloth and general moral decadence is common place along with censorship and complete media control when this is in place it is easier to divide and conquer.
The Pole Shift is quickening and if you search your heart you can feel the urgency of the situation with the truth just out of reach. This is why so many people are searching for answers and awakening to the reality that something ain't right!
I believe we are all the same kind as human beings. I do help whenever I can within my means to help others. I do not help specific group or just kins. As long as I am still capable and able to help, I do not mind giving a helping hand. We will never know that it will come a time that I will need help from others.
It is always giving and receiving regardless of who the person is.
Unless we know human value, how can we think for others? Are we really civilized?
You are right. But in your question is the answer. The tribe is getting nigger all the time.
So how do we cope with the constant knowledge that others are suffering? One way is that we pick celebrities to mourn for on mass, like Lady Diana and even Michael Jackson.
None of us know them personally, but because we are told so much about them or because we identify with their work, they take the place of all of those who suffer who we don't know at all.
The problem is not having a lack of compassion for those who are not in our tribe, it is a lack of knowing these people in any way what so ever. Yes it is terrible when someone dies, but hundreds and perhaps thousands die each day. You would go mad feeling bad for every one of them. You can't. For one thing most deaths are not made public, thank goodness.
It's hard enough with all the deaths every day in the media.
So we cope by tactfully ignoring most suffering unless it is pushed on us in some way. What we don't know we can't feel for even though we know death and suffering is happening everywhere without a doubt every day. If you felt that you had to mourn for them all you would be doing nothing else. At least in a small tribe you got a break from mourning.
I don't think we are hard wired to just care about our own. I think that's all the suffering we can safely handle and feel responsible for as a rule. Some people take on causes to augment their sense of doing for those they don't know. But no one can mourn for everyone except in principal. .
Good question and like diogenes I am not qualified enough to answer. But unlike him I would help anyone if I could and I am a brit!!
We have good and bad in all countries so I don't understand those remarks.
It's true you feel you want to help your own first and that is normal, helping other countries, the problem is do they actually recieve the help they need? With their corrupt governments this is what is holding a lot of people back from giving.
If I could I would rather go their and personally give them the help at least that way you know that it has reached them.
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